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Clinical Biomechanics & Rehabilitation

Lead: Professor Nicola Adams    Meet our staff

The members of this group have a number of core interests including the management of chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions, orthopaedic biomechanics of the lower limbs, lumbopelvic muscle dysfunction and rehabilitation, and characterising functional ability and rehabilitation in Parkinson's disease.

Bio _legIn the area of chronic pain, research has focused on the management of chronic musculsoskeletal conditions such as low back pain and fibromyalgia. Research has focused upon interventions such as exercise and education for fibromyalgia and low back pain, self-management of low back pain and acupuncture for pelvic girdle related pain in pregnancy. Work is developed with a strong emphasis on user consultation and work is ongoing to develop and enhance service provision for people with fibromyalgia in collaboration with NHS Trusts and the Newcastle Fibromyalgia Group. Work has informed national and European guidelines and a recent guidance document has been published on the management of pain in older people, the first of its kind.

Research within the field of orthopaedic biomechanics has focussed largely on the structure and function of the lower limbs in patients undergoing hip and knee joint replacement, those suffering from patellofemoral joint instability, and traumas such as bone fractures to the pelvis.  

Key collaborations have been developed with NHS trusts, most notably with Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust. Work in this field has included the development of novel methods for characterising patellofemoral pain and instability, which has received international recognition. Key collaborations have been developed with the Crew Medical Support Office at the European Astronaut Centre and the Australian Catholic University, which have facilitated European Space Agency funding to explore the role of rehabilitation from low back pain, a common complaint by astronauts following period of exposure to microgravity.

In the area of Parkinson's disease, the research group has developed strategies to improve functional activity for people with Parkinson's disease, through movement analysis in the laboratory and home environments. The group has worked on quantifying the extent of swallowing problems in Parkinson's disease providing important data to support NHS evidence-based commissioning decisions about service provision.

Please view individual research staff profiles to see specific research and publications from the group. We welcome interest from potential doctoral and post-doctoral researchers interested in working with us.


Clinical Biomechanics and Rehabilitation researchers have well-appointed  laboratories for human movement science, based in Sport Central, the University's state-of-the-art Sports facility. These include

  • 3D gait laboratory equipped to measure whole body human movement, ground reaction forces and muscle activity during activities such as walking, stair ambulation and rising from a chair
  • Pressure mats and a 3D motion analysis system that can be used away from the laboratory environment
  • Biomechanics laboratory equipped with force platforms, a balance platform, an ultrasound system for musculoskeletal imaging, an isokinetic dynamometer, optoelectronic sensors, and a range of biomechanical data acquisition systems
  • Performance analysis suite designed to allow the assessment of human movement using high speed video cameras and GPS technology
  • Facilities for the clinical assessment of participants and patients.

Case Study: Northumbria University researchers help people with Parkinson’s to walk


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